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Don’t Worry: Good Decisions Like These Don’t Make the Court Any Less Corrupt

 Member Newsletter
June 21, 2024 11:18 a.m.

There’s a wrongheaded tendency to think the Court isn’t quite as bad or corrupt when it hands down one of these “good” decisions as it did today in the domestic abusers gun case. Resist the urge. One of the many things I’ve learned from my podcast colleague Kate Riga in our many podcast discussions is that we get a lot of these cases lately because, in addition to taking many fewer cases in general, the Court is now basically open season for culture-war cases. Even in relative terms there are many fewer of the cases that are on some obscure dimension of the tax code or other important-but-to-most-people-obscure questions that don’t obviously line up with hot-button political issues.

This case was one of those cases on a few different levels. The fact that the plaintiff succeeded at the circuit court level is astonishing and scandalous in itself. But let’s start with some basics. The landmark Heller decision in 2008 did not uphold the kind of absolute 2nd Amendment “gun rights” advocates have long claimed. It was terrible, but it didn’t do that. What it did was for the first time find an individual right to own and possess firearms. Like all rights, any regulation of that must be justified by and balanced against some legitimate public interest or need.

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